let it go, Levi

the audacity is atrocious, the nerve phenomenal, the assumption that he wouldn’t be knocked off his bike by the cacophony of resounding boos and guttural jeers just impossible to fathom.

get this. Levi Leipheimer says he wants to come back after his 6-month ban is up, because “I don’t want it to end like this.”

look deep, deep into my eyes…

according to the testimony he gave to the federal investigation into fraud at the US Postal (yes, they always delivered, even if it was bags of blood and via motorbike), the doe-eyed Levi began doping when he first turned pro on the Saturn team, back in 1989. he claims he quit the dope in 2007 – so only 18 years of doping for a salary and glory then. he then says how proud he is of the Tour of California and Vuelta wins, as he won them ‘clean’.

then there’s a comment about how his friends have stood by him and cheered him up, and that “I wouldn’t have been able to make it through all this without their support.”

“You know what, you made a mistake, you owned up to it and you told the truth and we respect you for that and here’s to looking forward,” he recalls one saying.

touching. no, really. wonder if he thinks about the cycling fans who for the past 20 years have been screwed over, lied to and just plain cheated out of their time, respect and money? wonder if he went round and announced his massive doping past to all the thousands of people who went along in his Gran Fondo days before all this hit the fan.

at one point, the interviewer says:

PD: There’s an old line in baseball: If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.

LL: That brings up a good point. I was just in Atlanta Sunday at a symposium with some of the top scientists in anti-doping from across the world. They wanted to hear my personal experiences and opinions on how to improve the testing. Create a clean sport. One of the questions was: We hear a lot from people who say we should legalize all kinds of doping and be a free-for-all. If that had been done that at any point from when I was 13 years old to now it would have been an easy decision to stop. Because that just scares the hell out of me. I don’t want to be part of the sport that is a free-for-all. I would have left the sport. No question. That’s not worth it. For sure there would be individuals out there for whatever reason, probably mostly because they didn’t know better, they would go to the brink of death.

but that’s exactly what these riders, just like Levi, helped to create, a free-for-all – one that could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, if you had a Ferrari – but a free-for-all nontheless, where getting your hands on the newest dope meant you were a winner, all the while denying it to anyone within earshot with a holier-than-thou attitude.

where does this logic come from? did Felix Baumgartner bring it back from space? man, there, right there, is how he did it all those years, by inverting logic and his own sense of himself through such a mangled line of reasoning that what comes out the other end just doesn’t make no sense whatsoever. Tyler Hamilton went through it too, and Floyd, til they finally realized they were fooling absolutely nobody but themselves. Levi is there right now, bent, twisted, and utterly out of touch, and he may regret this interview in the years to come.

Levi, you think the sport owes you something? even now? after you stood by and watched LA destroy others’ careers, try to destroy Betsy Andreu, and claim on the podium in Paris – the goddam podium for godsake (can’t find the link, a youtube conspiracy?!) – that he was SuperClean, after being part of that elite circle that doped to the gills with the best doctors lined up to get you out of testing positive, whilst when others got busted you tut-tutted and looked the other way?  you still think you should be allowed back to say a final farewell? man, those drugs must have been good, real good, but they messed with your head.

it’s not about what you want. you got what you wanted, for 23 years. your time is up.

if it’s a happy ending you’re after, try a massage parlor. or Christina Watches…

read the full interview here

Author: Lee Rodgers

Cycling coach, race organiser, former professional cyclist and the original CrankPunk.

5 thoughts

  1. How many podiums will he stand upon on “bread and water” in his comeback? Won’t be much of a swan song. The Durbridge’s and Phinney’s of the world would show him what it really takes.

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